A personal post: getting fit the unusual way

Now, I realised that this isn't a typical post from me, but I wanted to share this with you all as it's had a really positive impact on me over the past few months and wanted to share my experiences.

Four months ago, I decided to start yet another health kick. Exercise isn't my strong point and despite having been a member of many gyms, if I'm truthful, I find them dull, uninspiring places to be. I was looking for something that I would enjoy, and actually want to do, as I wasn't feeling great about my body and wanted that to change.

I'd heard from a friend about pole fitness classes that were happening near my house, so decided to go along for a taster session to see what it was like. I was a bit dubious about the whole thing as for some people 'pole' has certain connotations, however when I turned up, it was very clear that these classes were designed for fitness, not as a secret way into stripping!

I joined a beginners class, which ran for 6 weeks and saw us learning basic spins, how to climb the pole and various other things. I definitely didn't find it easy (it was really hard because I had no muscles!), but I actually looked forward to going each week and slowly started to see small changes to the way my body looked.

I've been attending now for about 4 months and I love it. It was nerve-wracking to start with, standing in a room in shorts with floor to ceiling mirrors, but to be honest, after the first 10 minutes you stop paying attention to that and just get on with it. The girls that are in my class are lovely, and it's been great seeing how each of us progresses each week as we learn new moves.

The best thing about it is that I've seen some really great changes in myself. My upper body has always been slim, but it was really squidgy before - now I have visible muscles in my arms for the first time (goodbye bingo wings!) and it feels great to know that I am stronger!

I would recommend pole fitness to anyone that wants to try something a bit different out. It's the only exercise I've actually done every single week and with a smile on my face.

What's your favourite way to get fit?


These are a few of my favourite things: November favourites

I've really enjoyed a lot of products this month - some are old favourites  others have been newly purchased and used a lot.

REN Hydra Calm Global Protection Day Cream - i've been using this now for about 6 weeks and really like it. A little goes a long way, and it really seems to suit my dry skin at this time of year. Full review here.

REN F10 smooth and renew mask - I got this as part of a travel kit and fell in love. It smells wonderfully fruity, leaves my skin feeling refreshed but not tight and this travel sized tube has lasted me for four good face masks. I will definitely be buying the full sized product.

Aromatherapy Associates soothing instant calm serum - this was an (expensive) impulse purchase that I slightly regretted at the time, but after using it for the past 2 and a half months, I'm glad I bought it. It helps even out my skin and doesn't irritate it. I haven't seen miracles, so for the £42 price tag, I might try another serum next time and see if that has better results.

Percy and Reed volumising no oil oil - love this. It's keeping my hair in track throughout this horrible weather. Full review here.

Benefit Posie Tint - I've been using this as a blusher for the past few weeks and love the natural colour it gives my pale skin. Full review here.

Naked 2 palette - I bought this earlier in the month and have practically used it every day since. I love the range of colours and different looks I can get with the 12 shades.

So those are my favourites for this month. What have been yours?


Weekend haul YSL, Aldi, Lush

I decided to make an early start on my Christmas shopping this weekend, and along with a few pressies, I picked up some things I've been wanting to try for a while.

YSL faux cils mascara set - I was recommended this mascara on twitter and as there was 10% off this weekend in John Lewis, now seemed like a good time to try it out. The lovely assistant also gave me a perfume sample and some sachets of their new serum.

Lush golden wonder bath bomb - the last time I used a Lush bath bomb must have been over 10 years ago (I'm a shower girl!) but this looked so pretty and I loved the fact it rattles when you shake it :)

Lush Mint Julips lip scrub - I was planning to get the popcorn flavour, but after smelling this minty chocolate one I changed my mind!

Nail art - I saw these when shopping in Topshop for a Christmas present and could resist. Not sure how easy they will be to use but I'm going to give it a good go!

Now onto my two favourites:

Aldi Lacura Wrinkle Fix - this £4.99 bargain seems to be very similar to the very expensive Rodial Glamoxy Snake serum. I'm looking forward to trying this and seeing what effect it has my little fine lines.

Aldi Lacura concealer pen - again, hailed as the £3.59 version of YSL's Touche Eclat I can't wait to see how it performs.

Expect reviews on all of these very soon!


The Makeup Pixi3 Christmas tag

The lovely Laura over at a Day in the life of a Scottish Lass, tagged me to do the Makeup Pixi3 Christmas tag and seeing as how the big day is now only a month away (scary!) I couldn't resist.

What's your favourite thing about Christmas?

I love the preparation for it - shopping for gifts, advent calendars and getting to spend lots of time catching up with my friends and family who I don't see often enough.

What's your favourite makeup look for the Christmas season?

Statement eyes plus for Christmas parties, I love a glittery nail. This year I will most likely be using my Nails Inc Bling it on Rocks.

Real tree or fake tree?

Ummm...I have always had fake trees aside from last year when I had my first real tree. I loved having a real tree as it smelled so Christmassy, but didn't enjoy hoovering up needles every 5 seconds. I might go back to a fake one this year.

Giving presents or receiving presents?

I love giving them. I spend hours and hours thinking about what to get people as I love the look on their faces when they open it up and it's just what they wanted.

Do you open your presents Christmas morning or evening?

In the morning. I don't have enough patience to wait past lunch!

Handmade Christmas cards or bought?

I buy Christmas cards every year and forget to send them. I do the same thing every year without fail. Maybe if I made them myself I would actually give them out...

What's your all time favourite Christmas film?

Not very traditional, but I love Bad Santa! I also love watching ET when it comes on every year. It's one of the few films that's actually made me cry.

What's your favourite Christmas food?

This sounds really weird, but at Christmas, it's a tradition in my family to make little prawn vol au vents (puff pastry cases stuffed with prawns). It's the only time of year I let myself eat them so I tend to get a bit overexcited and eat a lot! It's also the only time of year where I can legitimately get away with eating chocolate at breakfast time, he he.

I would love for you to do this tag too, so am tagging everyone! Please feel free to send me your links back so that I can read them, and don't forge to mention Makeup Pixi3 as the tag creator :)



Benefit Posie Tint review

Over the past few weeks I've found myself using Posie Tint almost every day.

One of Benefit's lip and cheek stains, it's a candy pink colour, liquid formula. Like a lot of the Benefit stains, it comes in a bottle with a brush style applicator.

I tend to just use this as a blusher as I find it lasts for hours and looks really natural when blended in to my pink toned skin. The brush applicator means that you have to be very precise about where you want the product to go, however I sometimes apply it to my fingers and blend that way instead.

You do need to be pretty quick when blending to avoid a streaky face so I would recommend doing one cheek at a time!

My mini bottle of this (that I got with Glamour magazine months ago) is still going strong so I think this is a great value product. The full size is 12.5ml and retails at £24.50.

Have you tried Posie Tint before?


Mini REN haul

I think my love for REN is pretty well known on here by now and earlier this week I decided to order yet another product from their sensitive range, the Jojoba microbead facial polish.

I was even more happy to see that with any order over £15 you could get a free mini Rose Otto body and body lotion free. Add to that the two free samples you can choose with every order, and it was too good to resist!

I chose to get a Hydracalm Cleansing Milk sample (perfect for an overnight stay) as it's my go to cleanser, and a sample of the much reviewed Glycolactic face mask. Both of the samples are 5ml, giving enough for a full face mask and a couple of days use out of the cleansing milk.

The free Rose Otto duo offer is still running - just enter the code' ROSES' at the checkout for the freebies when you spend £15 or more. I can't wait to try these out. They smell just like Turkish Delight!



Harvey Nichols BeautyMART vending machine

I heard about this on Twitter the other day and just had to let you know about it.

BeautyMART is a new beauty department within Harvey Nichols. Created by Anna-Marie Solowij (ex-Vogue beauty director) and Millie Kendall (of Ruby and Millie fame), it showcases the best bits from over 100 brands (think Bioderma, EOS, Glam Glow, Japonesque). I've visited the Beauty Mart in the Knightsbridge store several times since launch and have loved it every time (review here).

You can imagine how happy I was when I heard that they were expanding even more and were launching a BeautyMART vending machine on the 4th floor of the Knightsbridge store. Yes, that's right, a beauty product vending machine!

Credit: BeautyMART

Launching today, the vending machine is stocked with beauty bags containing kits and quick pick items ranging in price from £3.45 right up to £98, so there's something for everyone.

Example bags include: a Love and Peace bag for Christmas with a Jurlique Love Balm and Nadia Narain Peace Candle, a Fashion Emergency bag with Miss Oops Mishap Tape and Rescue Sponge, a Clubbing Kit with Bourjois Volume Clubbing Mascara, Model's Own Wah Nails Nail Transfer in Cuboid (a gold and black geometric design) and mini Batiste Dry Shampoo and a Vintage Glamour bag with Eyelure false lashes and red lipstick. There are also bags with single products that include, for example GlamGlow -  £50, Kahina Argan Oil - £74 and Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - £25.

I think this is a really fun concept. I will be off to Harvey Nichols very shortly to check this out in the flesh and will report back afterwards. Let me know your thoughts - would you like to see vending machines like this popping up all over the country?

*This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share the news with you as quite honestly, I squealed with glee when I saw this on Twitter!!

Why I love my Tweezerman tweezers

I bought my first pair of Tweezerman tweezers just after my birthday earlier this year. A friend had given me some vouchers so I wanted to buy something I knew I would use for a long time. 

Tweezerman are a premium tweezer brand - the full size ones retail for about £20, and they also do a mini travel size for around £12. They are made from stainless steel and are really easy to use. I have a (bad) habit of being quite lazy with my brows, but these make plucking really simple. 

Here's why I love these tweezers:
  1. They are super sharp - making it easy to pluck even really short hairs
  2. They grip well - no snapping of brow hairs
  3. They last forever! (seriously, they will actually re-sharpen them for you for free - you do have to send them to the states though)
  4. They're pink - they have a lot of different patterns, colours etc, making them easy to find in the bottom of your makeup bag (unless you're anal like me and still keep them in their plastic box)

Since buying these, I haven't looked back. Whilst expensive to start with, I think that they are really worth the money and will last you forever. Have you used Tweezerman before? 


NOTD: Models Own Magenta Divine

I bought Magenta Divine a little while ago when Models Own had their 50% off sale. It's a hot pink glitter polish that can be easily layered up to opaqueness.

I've been looking forward to trying it out, but as the weather has gotten colder, I wanted to find a way to make it wearable in the daytime, as it's a pretty full on look.

So here's where Essie's Chinchilly comes in. One of my favourite latest purchases, I've been wearing Chinchilly a lot. I decided to use Magenta Divine as an accent nail on each hand and the finished look is below.

It took me three coats of Magenta Divine to get to this look, but i'm really pleased with how it turned out. The polish is really fast drying, so doing three coats wasn't too painful! As always, Chinchilly went on smoothly and was opaque in two.

I'm really enjoying this little flash of colour to rebel against the dull weather at the moment. I think Models Own polishes are great value - they retail for £5 each, and have really good, long-lasting formulas. You can buy them from larger Boots stores, or via their website. 



REN Hydra Calm Global Protection Day Cream review

I've been using the REN Hydra Calm Global Protection Day Cream for about a month now.

Part of their range for sensitive skin, the day cream hydrates and soothes at the same time.

I have been really impressed with REN products since I started using them earlier this year (I also use the Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk). The cream is quite thick and I find I only need just over a pea size amount to moisturise my whole face. It sinks in easily, leaving me with lovely soft skin and doesn't irritate it at all. It has a sort of herbal scent to it, but isn't over-powering and once rubbed it, can't be smelt.

Like all REN products, it contains no parabens, sulphates or mineral oil, so is good if you like to watch what ingredients are in your skin care products.

The cream retails at £27 for 50ml (mine is a smaller travel size I got as part of an offer) and can bought online from REN or from stockists such as John Lewis, Space NK and Liberty London.


FOTD: Saturday night dinner

Ok, my first face of the day post - scary for me!

I went for dinner Saturday with a friend and decided to go for a 60s style eye with pale pink lipstick.

Here's what I used:

Urban Decay Naked 2 palette
Hourglass script liquid liner in black
Lancome Hypnose mascara
Chanel le stylo yeux waterproof liner in black on the waterline

Bare Minerals original foundation in Fair
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil powder
YSL Touche Éclat
Benefit Posie Tint
Benefit High Beam

Topshop lipstick in Secret Admirer


Accidental purchase: Urban Decay Naked 2

Sooooo.... after trudging along to multiple shops last Thursday to try to track down the Ojon trade in offer and failing miserably, I decided I needed a little pick me up.

Normally, this would be in the form of a small treat, possibly a cookie, but no, the shiny lights of the Urban Decay counter started calling to me.

The Naked 2 palette has been on my lust list for months. I was planning to ask for it for Christmas, but instead, picked one up and handed over my card to the sales assistant without really thinking.

The Naked 2 palette features 12 gorgeous shades, varying from matte to shimmer, right along the nude spectrum, right up to a matte black, perfect for shading.

The tones of these shadows are slightly cooler than the original Naked palette (also on the lust list), but are still perfect for day and for night.

These have been swatched to death, so I thought i would just show you my favourites and how they show up on my 'so pale it glows' winter skin:

(L-R: Half baked, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Ydk)

I've been using this palette all week and am really impressed. The shadows are highly pigmented, blend easily and last for hours, even without a primer.

The palette retails for £36, which includes a double ended brush and a mini lip gloss (I would have preferred the eye primer that you get with Naked, but never mind). Larger Debenhams and House of Fraser stock Urban Decay, but you can also buy online from either.

What's your favourite Urban Decay product?


My top beauty tips - part 1

I've been asked by a couple of people recently for my top beauty tips and wanted to share these with you. some might seem a little tongue in cheek, but trust me, all have worked every single time for me.
  1. Always always always (no matter how tired/drunk you are) take your makeup off at night. Sleeping in it will only give you spots and make you look terrible when you wake up. If you really must, use a face wipe, but save these for emergencies.
  2. Look after your eyebrows - laziness here can make an otherwise perfect face of makeup look shoddy. Mine are so blond they barely exist, but keeping them neat still makes a difference to how my face is framed.
  3. To see if shades are right for your skin tone when in a shop like Boots or Superdrug, use the underside of your forearm for foundation/concealer and the pads of your fingertips for lipsticks. These are the closet matches to your face/lips.
  4. Spend as much on your face as you would on a handbag or *insert luxury item of your choice here*. I for one, have been guilty of scrimping on skincare and then blowing loads of money on expensive bags. Swap it around - your face gets seen a lot more often!
  5. When shopping makeup from higher-end brands, never ever trust a make-up counter assistant with an orange face/obvious foundation line. How are they going to give you perfect skin if they can't do it to themselves?
  6. Use what suits you - not what's 'hot right now'. Products don't suit everyone and it can get costly keeping up with the latest 'cult' products. Know your skin and buy what works for you. There's nothing wrong with trying new things, just make sure when you read/get recommendations they are from people with a similar skin type/colouring (for makeup) to you.
  7. Exfoliate at night. Do it after cleansing before you go to bed. Not only does this mean your night-time products will have a lovely soft surface to sink into, but you'll also avoid the risk of giving yourself spots. Exfoliating in the morning and then applying makeup is just an easy way to clog your pores and can cause breakouts, so do it at night to give your skin chance to breath. 
I'll be posting more over time, but for now, I hope these ones are useful! What are your top beauty tips? 


Selfridges lucky bag contents

This week Selfridges released their much anticipated lucky bags. A limited edition of 1,000 lucky bags each containing a minimum of 5 products from their beauty workshop, they cost £15 and you had no idea what you would receive.

When I woke up to an email Wednesday morning that they were available to buy, I quickly logged on and bought two, the second one was to be split up for Christmas stocking fillers.

They arrived on Thursday (kudos to Selfridges on the quick delivery), and I ripped them open excitedly.

Here's what I got (contents of both bags laid out):

  • anatomicals hand cream
  • anatomicals eye mask
  • tweezerman matchbox nail files
  • dermalogica daily microfoliant
  • St Tropez everyday tan medium/dark
  • 99 hair band ball (actually weirdly quite excited about this)
  • liquid soap
  • face mask sachet
  • Nails Inc mini Porchester Square
  • VW tissues (why?!)
  • Blink brow bar eyebrow shape gift card

All in all, I was quite pleased with what I received. The brow shape voucher definitely redeemed these lucky bags for me and without this I might have felt a bit disappointed. I've seen the contents of some other people's and they were less impressed.

I'm glad I bought them, but I'm not sure I would be rushing to do it again without knowing what's inside.


Bioderma Crealine H2O micellar water - my honest thoughts

Bioderma Crealine H20 is a micellar water that has been promoted to cult status by beauty bloggers everywhere.

After visiting Beauty Mart in Harvey Nichols London and finding that they stocked it, I decided to give it a go and see what all the hype was about.

I primarily bought it to use as an eye makeup remover as my Lancome Bi-Facil is somewhat crippling financially at £21 for 125ml. In contrast, the 100ml bottle of Bioderma that I picked up was only £6.

The product resembles water, but you have to shake it in order to activate the oil and water formula that lifts the makeup from your skin. Squirt it onto a cotton pad and wipe your makeup away - simple.

I found it really easy to use, and did a good job of getting off my liquid liner and mascara. The only thing was, I found that it dried out my eyelids and left them a little red.

I also tried it out on my face to remove my foundation before cleansing and again, it did a great job, but my skin felt a little dry afterwards.

Now, I do have dry-ish skin, so for those of you with more oily skin, I think this would be perfect, but I won't be using this every day.

It definitely did the job it promised to, but it is very clearly a makeup remover, not a cleanser. If that's what you're after and don't have dry skin, then I think this will be perfect.


NOTD: Nails Inc Duchess Street and American Apparel Constellation

I received Nail Inc Duchess Street as part of a recent swap with the lovely Beauty Balm. It's a gorgeous rich purple shade that looks fabulous alone, goes opaque in 2 coats and dries super fast.

After hearing about American Apparel giving away free nail polish with a voucher, I virtually ran there after work to grab one and picked up the gorgeous glitter shade 'constellation'. It's quite unusual as rather than the standard glitter particles, this one has thin shards of silver glitter like narrow confetti.

Bring impatient I decided I would layer the two together so I got to play with both of my new nail polishes rather than having to choose.

And here's how they look (two coats of each polish):

I'm loving the finish that you get with constellation and think duchess Street looks great as a base coat. I'll also be trying constellation out over some other more nude polishes over the next few weeks to see how it holds up without a dark base coat. It definitely needs a top coat to seal the glitter shards down - I didn't use one (being lazy) and have been scratching myself with them ever since. Oops...

Nails Inc retails for £11 and the american apparel polishes cost £7. I have to say I would definitely pay £7 for Constellation. I love it!!



Using it up #1

Like many beauty bloggers, I like to try out new things. This has meant however, that my stash is now bordering on ridiculous! 

In order to sort this out, I thought I would set myself a little challenge and publicly announce which products I'm going to use up in an attempt to reduce the size of the stash and help me save up for some more expensive purchases (looking at you Urban Decay!).

These will mostly be face, hair and body products over makeup, but I will be throwing a few makeup bits in over the next few weeks too. 

So, part 1 of 'using it up' features:

  • Clarins Eye Contour Gel - 3ml sample size
  • Creme de la Mer eye cream - 3ml sample
  • Molton Brown inspiring wild indigo bath and shower gel - 50ml

  • Soap and Glory sit tight intense cellulite gel - got about halfway through this and gave up, so determined to finish it off!
  • Aussie take the heat 3 minute hair treatment - one use sachet
  • Thalgo creme Thalgomince anti-cellulite firming cream - sachet

I know there are a lot of samples/small sizes, but hey, you have to start somewhere! I'm hoping I can get these used and then move on to some of the larger items I have stored away. 

How big is your stash of face/body/hair products? 


Latest in Beauty and You advent calendar

There have been a lot of beauty advent calendars released this year, from Lancôme to Selfridges and Liz Earle to Ciate.

The Latest in Beauty advent calendar offers a great variety of trial size products (24 in total) and costs £59.95.

It's not the cheapest, but falls somewhere in the middle of the advent calendar price points.

I got a bit over excited when I saw this was coming out and decided to be greedy and order it, despite have already bought the Ciate one a couple of weeks before (my bank balance is not happy with me!)

It features brands such as Eve Lom, Aromatherapy Associates, Nicky Clark, Mirenesse, Mavala and many more. You can get a full list of contents here.

It's beautifully presented and is a lot larger than I thought it would be. They are a luxury treat, but would also a great gift for any beauty enthusiast.

Have you bought any of this year's beauty advent calendars?

My daily makeup - go to items for work

I like to make the most of my time in bed of a morning, so I have a standard daily 'work' makeup routine that I can do in under 8 minutes (very specific, I know!).

At the weekend I like to mix it up a little more when i'm not under the time pressure of a daily commute, but for work, here's what I got to most mornings (clockwise):

  • Bare Minerals foundation - easy to apply, looks good all day, and gives me a nice, light coverage
  • MUA Undressed palette - I vary between using the gold/bronze shades and sometimes the shimmery pink base colour with a hint of grey.
  • Benefit Posietint - gives just a hint of colour on my cheeks and looks nice and natural given my fair colouring.
  • Benefit High Beam - I use this as a highlighter on my cheekbones to liven up my complexion a little.
  • Shu Uemura eyelash curlers - love these, full review here.
  • Lancome Hypnose Mascara in black - I use this every day without fail, it builds up a nice amount of volume on my blond lashes without clumping and lasts all day.
  • YSL Touche Eclat - this goes on as an under eye concealer - I have little dark circles so this covers them nicely for me.
  • Hourglass Script eyeliner in black - I love this, it has a super fine nib and enables me to get the 60's flick i favour really easily. Full review here.
  • Vintage compact mirror - I bought this a few years ago and love it. It dates from the 60's, has a pheasant on the front and is probably the most treasured item in my makeup bag as I know I can't replace it! 



Hair care heroes #1 Percy and Reed volumising no oil oil

I discovered Percy and Reed after receiving one of their hair masks on the front of Glamour magazine a long time ago.

During one of my lunchtime wanders around Space NK (very dangerous, I know) I found one of their mini travel sets: 'Hair Royal Highness', and given my penchant for things in mini size, I couldn't resist.

The Volumising No Oil Oil for fine hair was part of the 6 piece kit and was the one I was most looking forward to trying.

I love hair oils, but have to be careful how I use them as they can make my fine hair flat and greasy looking quite easily. At the same time, my hair also likes to turn into a frizz-ball at the slightest hint of moisture, so I definitely have to use something!

This oil promises not to weigh down hair, but still moisturising it, leaving it looking glossy.

It recommends that you only use one or two drops, and the pump dispenser makes this easy to get out without any wastage. I apply to damp hair, and then dry.

The No Oil Oil leaves my hair looking lovely and shiny, and as it promises, doesn't make it flat.

I've also used this at night, on dry hair and applied it like a moisturising treatment. I use about 6 drops and massage into my hair and when i wake up the next day, my hair (after washing!) feels so soft.

The full size (60ml) retails at £14, and when my mini (15ml) runs out, I will be purchasing the full size (or buying the mini kit again to feed my travel-sized obsession!). They also do an oil for thick hair, if you are blessed with more voluminous locks than me.

The 'Hair Royal Highness' pack contains shampoo, conditioner, mousse, oil, dry conditioner and hairspray and retails at £24. It's not cheap, but a great way to try the products out.

Have you tried any Percy and Reed products?


Beauty swap with Beauty Balm

I saw on one of the lovely Beauty Balm's posts a while ago that she was a fan of the Vichy Idelia moisturiser.  I had one of these from a Glossybox that I wasn't going to use, so contacted her to see if she fancied doing a little swap.

She said yes and sent me a lovely list of things to choose from. Being a nail polish junkie, I decided to go for a Nails Inc polish in Duchess Street, a gorgeous, rich purple colour.

My parcel arrived super quickly and was wrapped beautifully. To make things even better, she had included a little vial of Lancome's Bi-Facil makeup remover as she'd read this was one of my favourites. I was so pleased!

I didn't take a picture of the samples I sent along with the Vichy cream, but included a little variety pack, including some more Idealia and a Sisley cream.

This was such a nice little swap to do and I'm looking forward to road testing Duchess Street out over the next few days (watch out for a NOTD post!).

Thank you Beauty Balm for a lovely swap!



Amarya Beauty Box review November 2012

I was really excited to get home yesterday to find my first Amarya beauty box. I'd gone off beauty boxes a little bit after receiving a few rubbish ones, however after seeing lots of previous reviews for Amarya, I thought I would give it a try. 

The Amarya beauty box (like the others) is sent once a month. It promises to be full of organic and natural beauty brands, so is a great option if this is something you look for in products. 

The box is £10 per month, plus £2.50 p+p, and unlike some of the other boxes, everyone gets the same products. The only difference you might see from one box to another is a different shade of lipstick or scent of hand cream (the actual product remains the same). There's none of the fancy packaging that comes with the other beauty boxes, but to be honest, I'd rather they spent the money on the contents!

So, what did I get? 
  • Cowshed Cow Pat moisturising hand cream 50ml - smells of grapefruit and coriander
  • Weleda Lavender creamy body wash 20ml  - nice enough size to try it out a few times
  • Essential Care Creamy Coconut Cleanser 30ml - says on the box this is for normal/dry/sensitive skin, so perfect for me. I shall look forward to trying this one out.
  • Essential Care Organic Rose Moisturiser 2x 1.5ml sachets
  • Weleda Skin Food 1.5 ml sachet
  • Weleda Sea Buckthorn body lotion 4ml sachet

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the contents of this box. I'm going to give everything a try which is the first time I can actually say that with a beauty box and I'm already looking forward to next month's!


NOTD: Boots 17 Holo nail polish

After seeing all the gorgeous pictures of the Gosh holographic polish a few months ago but never being able to find one, I was really pleased to stumble across this during a random Boots browsing session.

The polish is a holographic silver that goes on smoothly and is opaque in two coats.

The finish is a lovely holographic silver, however this doesn't show up well in dull lighting, instead showing as a weird silver paint effect.

It comes in at less than a fiver and can be found in Boots stores.

I find that it lasts a couple of days with no chips, which it's pretty good considering the price and holo effect.

This polish is perfect for a night out or the Christmas season. I like it do much I actually included it in a beauty box swap I did with a friend last month.

I'm eagerly awaiting to see if they bring out any more colours - I think a hot pink or purple holo would look amazing!


Bourgois 1 second nail polish remover pot

Just a quick review on what is one of my favourite products.

The Bourgois 1 second nail polish remover pot is essentially a fancy way of getting nail varnish off quickly.

The magic little pink pot has a giant sponge inside, with a hole in the mmiddle, that's soaked in nail polish remover. You basically stick your finger into the hole in the middle of the sponge, twist the nail from side to side, pull it out and your nail varnish is gone!

Now, it certainly doesn't do it in 1 second, but it's definitely a whole lot quicker and less messy than the usual cotton wool method. It struggles a bit with glitter polishes, but if you leave your nails in there long enough, it will come off (it does make the sponge a bit glittery though, so just bear this in mind for future uses!)

I have two - one for normal nail varnish and the other for glitter so they don't get contaminated!

They retail for £4.99, so not cheap, but the ease of use makes it worth it for me. Plus, with all the 3 for 2 offers on at the moment, you can get more for your money :)



REN Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk review

I bought my first ever REN product back in June in the duty free section at Gatwick. I picked up one of their trial sets for sensitive skin which contained a cleanser, moisturiser, face mask and night treatment in mini sizes.

While i didn't get on with the cleansing wash (water and my face are not friends), I found out that they had a milk version of the cleanser and decided to give that a go instead.

The Hydra Calm cleansing milk is part of their sensitive range. My skin is one that can react to nasties in products and doesn't like a lot of scent, so I was pleased that this had no reaction to it whatsoever.

Like all REN products, it has no parabens, sulfates, mineral oil or other nasties and instead describes itself as 'clean skincare'.

The Hydra Calm milk contains chamomile, Omega 3 and Omega 7 extracts and fennel seed extract to help calm sensitive skin.

You apply using your fingers, rubbing gently into the skin. It has a thick liquid consistency that is easily spread around and I use less than one pump per time. You can then choose to wash the excess off, or wipe away using cotton wool or a muslin cloth. I opt for the cotton wool as using water on my face really dries it out.

I find that this cleanser leaves my skin feeling refreshed, smooth and slightly moisturised. If you like more of a 'squeaky clean' feeling, then you may refer the Hydra Calm Gel, as this is a foaming face wash.

I'm now on my second bottle of the cleansing milk and wouldn't be without it. It sells at £18 for 150ml, but one bottle has lasted me over three months, so i don't think the cost is too bad.

I've become a bit of a REN convert, but if you are considering giving their products a go, the counter ladies are always so helpful and will sometimes have samples of the products you can try first. They also do starter kits like the one i picked up, which i found to be a great introduction to the brand and a cheaper way of seeing if it will work for you.

REN is stocked in Space NK, John Lewis, Liberty London, plus you can also order from the REN website.



NOTD: Nails Inc Motcomb Street/MUA Nail Quake

After receiving Motcomb Street on the front of Glamour magazine this month, i wanted to try it out asap.

It's a lovely dark navy blue, with a glossy finish. It went on well and was opaque with 2 coats. I think it makes a nice change from black nail polishes as it's not quite so dark and is a little more flattering on my pale skin tone.

I thought it would be a good idea to try out my new MUA nail quake (crackle effect) polish over the top. This is in 'gold glitter' so i tried it out as a feature nail over the top of Motcomb Street.

Unfortunately, as you can see, it didn't quite live up to it's name. Maybe I didn't apply it right, but there's no sign of any 'quaking' going on, just a streaky glitter finish. Boo! I'm not sure I'll bother trying this one again.

Seeing as you can get Motcomb Street for £2 at the moment on the front of Glamour, I think it's an absolute bargain. Nails Inc polishes are normally £11, which for that price I would prefer an OPI if I'm honest, but at this price, and for the lovely colour, I will definitely be using it again.

*update* Just something to bear in mind, but Motcomb Street chipped big stylee in under 24 hours. Possibly due to my lack of top coat, but it did it in my sleep so I have no idea how that happened!

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